FCC DAC ENT Closed Captioning Toolkit

The FCC tasked the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) with recommending best practices for the use of enhanced Electronic Newsroom Technique (ENT) to caption local news and other live programming. ENT allows stations to create captions by displaying the prewritten script from a teleprompter, instead of traditional (more expensive to produce) live captions. The FCC’s rules allow certain TV stations to use ENT: affiliates of the four major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox) outside the top 25 DMAs, and all other stations.

The DAC recently approved a final recommendation to the FCC. NAB helped drive the DAC’s final product toward industry education instead of any potentially concerning recommendations (e.g., a deadline for phasing out ENT or a new obligation to monitor ENT quality). For example, the recommendation encourages stations to improve the scripting of weather segments and carefully review the scrolling speed of ENT captions.

The recommendation includes an “ENT Toolkit” that is essentially a PowerPoint deck that provides advice on the more important aspects of effective ENT through brief video reels embedded in the deck. We would appreciate your help in distributing this Toolkit to ENT Coordinators at your group’s stations (if appropriate) and anyone else who may find it helpful. The Toolkit (English and Spanish versions) is attached, and is also available for download in English and Spanish on NAB’s website and the FCC’s Closed Captioning website.

Please contact Josh Pila at Meredith (NAB’s DAC rep) or myself if you have any questions.

Larry Walke, NAB Legal & Regulatory
(202) 429-5313 (o)
(202) 607-7611 (c)

SOURCE: Disability Advisory Committee (DAC)

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